“Trial date for former priest accused of brutal assaults against pupils at Highland school” & related article

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The Press and Journal

January 14, 2017, 6:50 am

Inverness Sheriff Court

Inverness Sheriff Court

A former priest who taught at a Highland school will go on trial in May accused of a string of brutal assaults against his pupils with weapons including a spiked golf shoe and a hockey stick.

Father Benedict Seed, 83, was due to go before a jury later this month at Inverness Sheriff Court.

But yesterday, his lawyer Clare Russell told Sheriff Margaret Neilson that she was not yet prepared for trial.

She explained: “I have just today received an 81 page statement by a prosecution witness which I will need to peruse and that will take some time.

“I also wish to look at this witness’s mental health record. In addition, there is a potential defence witness in Italy who will require to be interviewed.” Ms Russell said.

She added that there were other procedural issues involving disclosure of documentation by the Crown which required to be resolved.

Fiscal Roderick Urquhart did not oppose her request for an adjournment and Sheriff Neilson re-assigned the trial to the jury sitting of May 15.

Seed is accused of assaulting eight boys over a 14-year period at Fort Augustus Catholic School in the 1970s and 1980s.

The incidents are alleged to have happened between June 1974 and July 1988 when Father Benedict, whose real name is Thomas Seed, of Brora in Sutherland, was a chemistry teacher and headmaster at the Roman Catholic school.

Seed denied eight charges of assault to injury.

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Former priest denies assaulting pupils at Highland abbey

The incidents are alleged to have happened between June 1974 and July 1988 in Fort Augustus.

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